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Northern Lights IPA - Starr Hill Brewery

Northern Lights IPANorthern Lights IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

599 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 599
Reviews: 223
rAvg: 3.57
pDev: 13.45%


Brewed by:
Starr Hill Brewery visit their website
Virginia, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: OldFrothingSlosh on 09-19-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 599 | Reviews: 223 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of godlessape
godlessape

Georgia

3.61/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Starr Hill Northern Lights IPA
The body has a light clear amber hue to it topped off with a thin but creamy white head.
The aroma is somewhat floral and grassy, with some sweet fruitiness, finishing off with just a little grapefruit.
As far as taste goes everything seems rather subtle. Nothing jumps out and slaps you on the kisser. The caramel malt is there, as is the expected hop bitterness on the tail end. The balance in this is great.
The Mouthfeel is high in carbonation, with a juicy aftertaste.
Overall this is a decent brew, a solid IPA.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2014 02:38:55 | More by godlessape
Photo of ThePaintedGrey
ThePaintedGrey

Pennsylvania

3.39/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Pours a rich copper color with a creamy tan head that starts out two-fingers in height after an aggressive pour. Dwindles pretty quickly, leaving an acceptable amount of lacing down the sides. A roughly 1/4" creamy cap retains like a champion.

S: Floral hops with some citrus fruit. Grapefruit dominates the citric aspect with some tangerines floating around. A little bit of grassiness and some bready malts lingering. Aroma is intense, but lacks in complexity. Nothing astounding, but nothing that can be scored too harshly.

T: Those bready malts up front. A little bit of caramel malt maybe? There's a lot of malt presence in the initial sip. Some weak hop bitterness cuts through, but doesn't really do a great job of taking the driver's seat on the flavor bus. A little bit of medicinal-like bitterness in the end that's still overshadowed by the lingering malt presence. None of these flavors are bad, by any means, but they're very disappointing for an IPA.

M: Medium body, maybe slightly above, I'd say. Crisp carbonation. A bit chewy in the mouth, likely due to the strong malt presence. This one feels great and definitely has some session potential. It's overall a bit too chewy and clean in the finish for me though, given the style.

O: I want to clear up that even though my score for this infers mediocrity, that's not particularly the case. Starr Hill's Northern Lights is a quite enjoyable brew. It's flavorful, it's smooth, it's a great grab for sessioning, BUT it's not a good example of what I look for in an IPA, and I scored accordingly. The malt presence is too dominant and the hops, for the most part, take the backseat. Like I said, this brew is enjoyable and sessionable, but not what I look for in an IPA. This would serve better as perhaps an American Amber Ale, perhaps?

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2014 19:31:34 | More by ThePaintedGrey
Photo of Edward-Nipplebrew
Edward-Nipplebrew

Pennsylvania

2.85/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice copper color not a bad IPA. Average in taste and quality. Good drinkability. A fine run-of-the-mill IPA nothing wrong but nothing to write home about. Strawberry fields forever. This would be a good choice for novice IPA drinkers as an introduction to get you into trying IPA's.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2014 20:36:30 | More by Edward-Nipplebrew
Photo of delta490
delta490

Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A- poured a nice clear deep amber with a creamy white head which provides nice lacing

S- Mild bread with some light citrus hops and a faint sweetness at the end

T- Very similar in profile to the aroma. Nothing really stands out with this one, but it's not bad, either

M- a little watery, given the nature of American IPA

O- it's a decent IPA, worthy trying once for the sake of it

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2014 01:05:21 | More by delta490
Photo of Dodo2step
Dodo2step

Pennsylvania

3.54/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

P- Westy's Beer Distributor

A- a copper orange color that is in the middle between clear and opaque. The head is a frothy white that leaves a straight circular lacing on my pint.

S- citrus/grapefruit hops nose with faint malt hints.

F- a strong sharp and tart grapefruit/citrus flavor. not much else in the flavor.

M-light bodied but the tartness of the hops is overpowering and takes away from the other notes that should be in in IPA. It is not as dry or hoppy either.

O- an average IPA. the tartness is too over powering but a good brew all the same from Starr Hill.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2014 23:51:03 | More by Dodo2step
Photo of GarthDanielson
GarthDanielson

North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint, the beer is a very bright, slightly hazy, orange-gold coloring with a frothy, tall, foamy, dense, off-white head that clings all over the glass as you drink. Good looking beer. Aromas of tropical fruits, pepper and tobacco spice, and subtle grass and pine. Flavors are roast forward, with a more subdued fruit character and a solid tart grapefruit profile providing tart and bitterness. Subtle caramel backbone, and with some grass and cedar hops characteristics coming forward towards the tail-end of the palate. Smooth, light body with a tart and roasted sweet aftertaste, with hops bitterness to clean everything up at the end. The finish is dry, with a subtle resinous linger. Solid beer, and easy to drink. Tasty.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2013 19:07:49 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of Kendo
Kendo

New York

3.56/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. Body is clear, golden-copper in color with a small ivory-colored head. Decent amount of lace.

S: Some citrusy and piney hops, though not big and in-your-face.

T: Surprisingly malt-centric for an IPA; first impression is the caramel malt & toffee of the malt. It loses flavor generally mid-sip, seeming almost watery, but then on the finish there's a mild amount of hop bitterness (think weak grapefruit), along with some green hops (grassy and piney). Decent lingering piney bitterness in the aftertaste.

M: A bit slick in feel. Lighter than medium in heft. Carbonation is modest.

O: OK; reminds me more of an APA than an IPA, but it's not a bad beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2013 03:53:14 | More by Kendo
Photo of Steff_Wantz
Steff_Wantz

Maryland

4.05/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Beautifully copper colored, can clearly see carbonation, nice head of foam

S: smells a bit musty, definitely has a strong hop aroma to it, hints of floral

T: a bit bitter at the start but a crisp IPA finish at the end, some sweetness to it

M: this brew covers your whole palate and leaves a coating on your tongue after

O: Overall this is a very enjoyable IPA, I would like to try this on draft. I typically forget about Starr Hill but this beer made me remember that this brewery is nothing to forget about. I am going to make sure I put some emphasis on trying more from this brewery in the future.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2013 01:54:15 | More by Steff_Wantz
Photo of Altrurian
Altrurian

New York

3.46/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tried this as a "premium" selection at the United Club near C-18 at IAD.

A right viscous pour, with noticeable churn as a one-finger, yellow-shaded head takes shape. The head disappears, but cling lingers. The aroma is alluring, with citrus and toffee on an unidentifiable floral base.

The beer's taste is hard and hoppy; no citrus--metallic instead, but with a clean finish. No nonsense, which, I guess, is a generous way of saying it's lacking in complexity and not much fun. But there's something there. Texture is just a touch too prickly. Sure beats the Miller Genuine Draft that preceded it.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2013 18:08:57 | More by Altrurian
Photo of TheMultiYeast
TheMultiYeast

Pennsylvania

3.35/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours slightly hazy burnt yellow. Small white head.

Nose is grassy, mildly hoppy, tropical notes, C-hops predominate, herbal.

Mild herbal notes, grapefruit hoppiness, decent balance, bitterness is pretty strong.

Feel is a little thin, a bit seltzer-like, but good for a session.

My first beer from Starr hill and although it's not an outstanding IPA, I'm willing to try more of what the brewery offers.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2013 01:09:18 | More by TheMultiYeast
Photo of obywan59
obywan59

Virginia

3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours crystal clear and golden orange to light amber in color with a 3 finger near white head that recedes slowly leaving some lasting sticky lacing.

Fresh, vibrant, and redolent in aroma with grassy, over ripe citrus, and caramel components. Yeasty dough at times.

Straight out of the fridge, the front forward bitter aspect was a bit much, but it quickly settled down as the beer warmed. Sweet light caramel from the malts and grassy and bitter hops. Occasional spice in the back of the mouth.

Medium to medium thick in body. Plenty of bite, especially early on. Bordering on creamy, however. Decent warmth from the alcohol.

From the initial smell of it, I thought this might approach the quality of a Stone brew, but the flavor didn't quite hold up. Nonetheless, as it warmed, the flavor was greatly improved and became more than passable. This ranks among the better of the Virginia brews.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2013 01:53:43 | More by obywan59
Photo of ElderBeagle
ElderBeagle

Maryland

3.08/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Obtained in the sampler pack

Really strange looking IPA. Clear dark amber color with very little head.

Smells very sweet for an IPA. Caramel maltiness, with the piny, citrus hops as well.

The taste is very sweet just like the nose, then the back of the tongue is the dry piny hops. Not much depth to the hops here which is disappointing, as I like complex hop flavor (citrus, tropical fruit, etc). Mostly just a dry piny, resinous flavor which is almost bulled over by the malt sweetness.

Its like an amber ale that was dry hopped or something. Overall, not the IPA for me. I actually think their pale ale is more complex and hoppy than this, and therefore more enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2013 17:58:42 | More by ElderBeagle
Photo of beerthulhu
beerthulhu

New Jersey

2.59/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Quick paced micro-effervesce passes through an orange body with a good clarity. Rigid foam works of 2 inches is sturdy, with a buff coloring showing a generous lace amount on the vessel.

S: Small dry citrus flower, none to complex, none to strong, none to appealing.

T: Coarse hopping, prickly flower bitterness, dry citrus. All bitterness hops, plus some dry hopping, but no flavor aspect. Dull tasting, dull hoping with some toasted sweetness upfront that gets overcome by the coarse, mono-tone hopping that finishes with some dry flour and chalkiness.

M: Light bodied, chalky, dry barley stalks, with a small moderate sweetness off the tongue.

O: Overall early hop bitterness additions leaves no room for flavor aspect. Blunt, dry and unfocused hop and flavor wise with a coarse finish that even zombie junkie hop heads will have a hard time likeing. Pass, hesitant finish.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2013 19:20:21 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of Immortale25
Immortale25

North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Dogfish Spiegelau glass. Bottleneck says 02/06/13

A- Pours a medium amber color with a 3/4 inch light tan head that bears good retention time before eventually becoming an 1/8 inch head. Resilient lacing trickles slowly down the glass.

S- Sweet malt combines with earthy hops to create an almost maple-like bouquet. Notes of brown sugar, caramel and some wet grass. Slightly musty.

T- Decent hop bite with more of the sugary malt coming through and a bit of booze. Not necessarily balanced as the hops create more of a standard bitterness and the malt provides most of the actual flavor. Easy to drink nonetheless.

M- A bit dry and plenty sharp from the booze and hops. Medium carbonation and a surprisingly hefty body.

O- Pretty decent IPA by an otherwise lackluster brewery.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2013 00:37:18 | More by Immortale25
Photo of Oakenator
Oakenator

Pennsylvania

3.94/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice copper color with some head. Decent head retention and spotted lacing.

S: Fresh smelling but not much going on here for an IPA. Malts present.

T: Nice mixture of mild hopping with a sweetener from the decent dose of malts.

M: Solid - has a good bit of body but still refreshing.

O: Good brew.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2013 01:01:28 | More by Oakenator
Photo of BeerLover99
BeerLover99

Illinois

3.31/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: dirty orange/shiny body, finger khaki head, spotty lacing

S: sugary biscuit, citrus, mild grass

T: kiwi/grapefruit, big sweet biscuit malt middle, earthy grass
bitter finish

M: med body, creamy/oily balanced mouth

O: Sweet Malty IPA? Interesting, usually not
my style at all, but enjoyed it, none the less.

SOLID; DON'T GO OUT OF YOUR WAY!

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2013 17:58:55 | More by BeerLover99
Photo of RonfromJersey
RonfromJersey

New Jersey

3.25/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Single purchased at the Pennington Circle SuperSaver.

A striking amber, with a slight haze. Two fingers of level dense white foam.

Inviting, assertive aroma of pine and pineapple.

Low level malt foundation. A flash of juicy fruit. Nuclear blast of bitterness. It's good bitter, but there is a whole lot of it. Big time tooth scraper.

Medium mouthfeel flows along.

If you are looking for a hugely bitter IPA, this beer is for you.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2013 03:43:14 | More by RonfromJersey
Photo of DrDemento456
DrDemento456

Pennsylvania

3.26/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A - Pour is fairly dark amber with a 1/2 inch of head that leaves a pretty sweet lace ring throughout.
S - Smell is subdued hop bitterness, old malt, and some cracker crust.
T - A very lackluster IPA with more malty base than standard hop bitterness. Slightly below average.
M - Malty medium bodied with a not very "crisp" finish.

Overall a very forgettable IPA that is worth passing for the single reason of no bottling date. Guaranteed to be old.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2013 03:38:53 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of Omnium
Omnium

Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle > Pint Glass
A - Nice orange tinted gold, one finger head, average lacing
S - Not a bad smell, some fresh fruits, citrus and a hint of peach, flowers, and a slight scent of dankness.
T - Some decent hop bitterness here, a little citrus taste, as well as a little sweet malty finish, some dried flowers, and a hair of pine.
M - Lighter on feel, medium carbonization, but the bittereness hangs on more than it should
O - Average IPA, but its drinkable and is a decent style of single IPA, there's much better picks out there for singles, but its not bad.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2013 23:34:58 | More by Omnium
Photo of micromaniac129
micromaniac129

Pennsylvania

3.51/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty much an average brew. Didn't notice a bottle date but suspect it's old. I tend to believe that 75% of most beer sold in a bottle store is out of date anyway.

Not picking up really any hop notes either in aroma or taste in this orange amber brew.
Mostly malts here and a metalic aftertaste.
Drinks harsh not smooth at all.
I'll revisit these guys latter on.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2013 11:42:42 | More by micromaniac129
Photo of ColdPoncho
ColdPoncho

Ohio

3.46/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Twist off bottle dated 11/30/12. Let's hope it's a brewed on date.

A - Nice, clear, orangey body with a finger of white foam. It leaves a decent lace.

S - Caramel malts, earthy aromas, a touch of vanilla, oddly. It smells like an old ipa.

T - bitter grapefruit rind, light malty roasted flavors. Citrus begins to come to the front. It tastes much better than it smells.

M - dry, medium body. Foams up pretty well.

O - this is pretty bitter, a little bit old, and not very remarkable. If this were local to me, I'd probably grab a six pack every now and again if it was in the $8 range as it's fairly easy drinking, but not a go-to IPA.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2013 18:05:47 | More by ColdPoncho
Photo of Ryanm1
Ryanm1

Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Run of the mill IPA. Sucked this one down straight from the bottle. Hoppy taste nothign really to comment about this beer. I got this out of the mixed packed that Star Hill makes and this was a marginal IPA which was on par with the Red Ale, and Imperial Stout in the case.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2013 00:26:21 | More by Ryanm1
Photo of Chaney
Chaney

District of Columbia

3.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Lots of froth on this clear, golden brew. the large bubbles were quite sticky and clung to the glass quite a bit.

S: Are my senses dead? I honestly didn't get much here. Maybe a bit of yeast and grainy citrus.

T: The taste was pleasant and with no pine cone whatsoever. Very East Coast and subdued. Sure, the orange was in there, but this was played right down the middle.

M: Prickly and with lots of lacing.

O: I found this to be very drinkable, but ultimately not very memorable.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2012 23:56:00 | More by Chaney
Photo of BuxMontBeerLover
BuxMontBeerLover

Pennsylvania

3.78/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The bottle was given to me by Mark, the GM at the Keswick Tavern in Glenside, PA. Thanks for the sample, Mark!

Poured and sampled from a DFH Pint Glass

A - The beer pours an opaque, slightly hazy, golden orange color. A foamy, one-finger head on the initial pour. Lots of sticky lacing left after drinking.

S - An average smelling IPA with a mix of pine, grapefruit and hops.

T - A sweet, malty taste yet it still has a nice hoppy bitterness to it. A mixture of the standard IPA tastes of pine and citrus (grapefruit ). A earthy, grassy taste as well. There is a tangy, caramel-like aftertaste. The ABV is well hidden. A very sessionable beer, in my opinion.

M - medium consistency. Good amount of carbonation.

O - A good IPA and a beer that I would definitely have again. That being said, nothing really sets it apart from the multitude of IPA's out there so I can't say it was the best I ever had by any means. It is what it is...an easy drinking, middle of the road IPA that is worth a try if you see it.

Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2012 20:46:03 | More by BuxMontBeerLover
Photo of Minkybut
Minkybut

Virginia

2.65/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured this hoppy beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. The beer poured a amber sort of dirty blonde color. The head was gone really fast but lacing hung on for a little while. The smell and taste was certainly IPA, but too much for me. The beer was very dry with a bitter finish. Not for me and I will not buy again.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2012 01:11:29 | More by Minkybut
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Northern Lights IPA from Starr Hill Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 599 ratings.